For my first three years of high school, I felt like a puzzle piece that didn’t fit. I didn’t feel right about where I was, or who I was, either. If my high school was the puzzle, I was the piece that not only didn’t fit—it didn’t even belong.
I learned differently than others did, and I needed an environment where the teachers cared about my education and wanted to work with me. And I also felt misunderstood and out of place. There was a heavy focus on materialism in my school that didn’t seem to leave a lot of room for spirituality. I couldn’t express myself without having my views challenged or dismissed, and that was hard, because turning to God in prayer is such a big part of my life.
During that whole three-year period, I was praying for an answer. I thought maybe things could change at my high school. But I also had this voice within me that was constantly nudging me to consider trying something new. This voice was one I’ve heard before when I’ve needed direction, and I’ve come to recognize it as God’s. I do trust God; yet, while it kept coming to me to try a boarding school, and I felt like I wanted to do it, I kept coming up with excuses about why I shouldn’t. I was afraid that if I left home, I would lose my friends and sever my close connection to my family. And I had a lot more worries that made me doubt God’s leading. So I always pushed those thoughts about a boarding school far into the back of my head and ignored them.
Then, while working at a camp the summer after my junior year, I noticed something. That feeling of being out of place that I so frequently experienced at home had been replaced with a clear sense of belonging. What really meant the most to me was that I finally felt like I was being seen for what I truly am. Through my new friends’ eyes, I saw myself as strong, intelligent, pure, and capable of anything—because I express God. And I felt like I was seeing them more clearly—more spiritually—too.
Through my spiritual growth, I was also learning to trust God more. So on my day off, I finally listened to that divine guidance that I’d been hearing for years and filled out my application for boarding school.
It wasn’t like I stopped feeling worried or confused about where I was supposed to be. But for the first time, I was at least willing to listen to what I felt I was hearing from God and to trust enough to follow. And in those moments of confusion or worry, I turned to Mary Baker Eddy’s writings to understand more about my relation to God. I loved this passage from Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896: “Let your light reflect Light. Have no ambition, affection, nor aim apart from holiness” (p. 154). This captured what I was feeling about wherever I ended up. I just wanted to be where I could express God to the fullest, and trusting that motive gave me a feeling of peace.
Putting all my trust in God and His guidance, I was able to get on an airplane and move almost two thousand miles away from home, and I am so unbelievably grateful that I did. From the moment I arrived at boarding school, I felt so loved and accepted, and I can see now how all those divine nudges I was scared to listen to for so long really were evidence of God’s direction.
This experience taught me so much about listening to and following God. Sometimes it can feel scary to trust, but as one of my favorite hymns in the Christian Science Hymnal says, “It matters not what be thy lot, / So Love doth guide” (Mary Baker Eddy, No. 160). It’s so reassuring to know that what’s guiding us is divine Love, so the result has to be good. It was for me. Trusting God led me to the place where I’ve finally found my “fit.”
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